Turkey Frees P&G Workers Held Hostage in Anti-Israel Protest

(Bloomberg) -- A group of seven hostages were set free from a Procter & Gamble Co. factory in Turkey after an assailant was ‘neutralized,’ according to a government official.

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The person, a former employee, was protesting Israeli attacks in Gaza, according to Seddar Yavuz, governor in Kocaeli, a region east of Istanbul. Turkey’s Demiroren News Agency shared a photo of the alleged assailant standing next to a drawing of the Palestinian flag while armed with a pistol and wearing what looked like a vest loaded with explosives. Bloomberg couldn’t immediately verify the image.

Since October when the war started, global brands with perceived links to Israel, such as Starbucks and Coke, have been targets of boycotts.

P&G, the US-based consumer goods giant, uses Turkey as a hub for operations in that part of the world, according to its annual report. It has four facilities in the country, making products for brands such as Gillette and Oral-B.

“The safety of P&G people and our partners is our top priority,” a spokesperson for the company said by email. “Earlier today, we evacuated our Gebze facility and are working with local authorities to resolve an urgent security situation.”

--With assistance from Beril Akman.

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